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Why ‘Big Data’ Is a ‘Revolution’

Christina Medici Scolaro
Big Data Download
Why ‘Big Data’ Is a ‘Revolution’

The evolution of big data is pushing the world into a new frontier. We are moving into an age where statistics, analytics, algorithms and quantification are taking center stage, says Kenneth Cukier, author of ­“Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think.”

“This is the next big shift in the way that society understands itself,” he told Big Data Download, which is co-produced by CNBC and Yahoo.

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According to Cukier, education will be totally different. He compares it to custom tailored clothes, rather than a one-size-fits-all curriculum. With tablet-textbooks, the book records what the student does, so it can match the incorrect answers with the page in the book that requires more attention.

“A generation from now, today's assembly line classrooms will strike people as bizarre, education-wise, as the single-room schoolhouse on the prairie, which packed kids of different ages.”

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Cukier also pointed out two of the many ways big data can change health care. People’s smartphones can be linked to electronic-patient records so adverse drug interactions can be spotted immediately. Another way, he said, was that so-called "rare cases" will go away. He says rare cases are only rare to individual doctors, not to computers, which can identify the disease and then suggest the best treatment after crunching 300 million patient records, not the few thousand that a doctor may see in his lifetime.

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